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Introducing Tezuma/Wazuma

This video, titled "Taijyu Fujiyama / 藤山大樹 江戸から続く日本伝統マジック「手妻・和妻」の継承者~," was created by "Taijyu Fujiyama."

The video shows a magic show performed by the famed tezuma magician Taiju Fujiyama.
Come and immerse yourself in this world of Japanese culture and history.

What Is Japan’s Traditional Magic, Wazuma?

The Wazuma/Tezuma introduced in this video, is a traditional magic unique to Japan, involving a combination of acting, music, costumes, and a story.
"Wazuma" is the general term used for all Japanese-style magic tricks.
The term “shinadama (品玉)” is used as well.

In contrast to wazuma, Western-style performance magic is also known as "yozuma" (洋妻).
The word “tezuma” originates from the phrase "手を稲妻の様に素早く動かす" (te wo inazuma no yo ni subayaku ugokasu, "to move one's hands as fast as lightning").
"wazuma" has a long history, first appearing in 1715 in the Shinsen Gijutsu, (神仙戯術), Japan’s oldest book of magic.
The book contains descriptions of techniques such as “how to make a bottle gourd move on its own” and “how to make an artificial fish swim in water.”

Significant wazuma magic tricks include "Dance of the Butterflies" (胡蝶の舞, kocho no mai), "Egg and Sleeve" (袖玉子, sode tamago), "Hyoko" (ヒョコ, hyoko), "Bowl and Sphere" (お椀と玉, owan to tama), "Entwined Paper" (連理の紙, renri no kami), "Bathtub Escape" (釜抜け術, kama-nuke-jutsu), "Fan and Egg" (扇子玉子, sensu tamago), "Paper Udon" (紙うどん, kami udon), "Tengu Hiding Beans" (天狗の豆隠し, tengu no mame-kakushi), "Absent Pillar" (柱抜き, hashira-nuki), "Water Art" (水芸, mizu-gei), "Horse-Swallowing Illusion" (呑馬術, donbajutsu), and more.
From 0:37 in the video, you can see some of these tricks.
The tools and props used in the performances, such as Japanese umbrellas and folding fans, are further representations of Japanese culture.

This traditional performance magic has long been beloved in Japan.
On 24th May, 1997, wazuma was designated an Intangible Cultural Property by the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs.

Who Is the Magician Taiju Fujiyama?

Taiju Fujiyama is one of the few remaining practitioners of wazuma.
After graduating from university in 2010, he became an apprentice of Fujiyama Shintaro, and thus began the journey to becoming a wazuma practitioner.
His master Fujiyama Shintaro is renowned in the world of wazuma, having thrice received the Media Arts Festival Award from the Agency of Cultural Affairs.

After working hard practicing under his master and polishing his skills, Taiju Fujiyama became the Asian Magic Champion in 2014, then achieved 5th place at the world tournament FISM in 2015.
Following that, Fujiyama ventured worldwide, holding stunning performances in America, London, Italy, Mexico, China, Korea and more.
Now, he has performed in more than 20 cities in over 10 countries.
In 2018, he performed a magic trick involving seven changes on the American television program "FoolUs."
The video of his performance has surpassed more than 13 million views.

Preserving the Unique Japanese Culture of Wazuma in the Present Day

Wazuma was first created during the Edo period, and developed into Japan’s unique form of performance magic.
However, today, there are very few performers left who are able to perform authentic wazuma while maintaining the balance of movements, dance elements, and ancient customs.

Although it is a tremendously difficult challenge to protect this intangible art form, wazuma successors like Taiju Fujiyama aim to convey the beauty of this traditional Japanese art to the entire world.

Summary of Tezuma and Wazuma

Tezuma/Wazuma is a unique form of performance magic blending both traditional performing arts with magic tricks.
This style is based on the Japanese concept of beauty as form, making it quite different from Western magic.
Why not give this new style of magic a try, and experience one of Japan’s long-beloved traditions?

【Official Homepage】「wazuma・tezuma」Fujimura Taiju Official Site ~Japan’s Traditional Magic from the Edo Period~

Written By
Last Updated : Aug. 1, 2022
鈴木 正孝(Masataka Suzuki)
A writer born and raised in Asakusa, Tokyo who loves traveling and novels

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“Tezuma (手妻)”, or “Wazuma (和妻)”, Is Japan’s Unique Form of Performance Magic, Originating From the Edo Period! Experience a New Style of Magic, Imbued With the Beauty of Japanese Aesthetics!
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